Saturday, February 4, 2006

The Merry Wives of Stepford

(First published 2000)
I answered the call of volunteering at my daughter’s school during the Scholastic Press book sale. Showing up with my toddler, a bag of graham crackers, crayons and coloring book, I was prepared to bedazzle the kids with my change-making abilities. I sat at the table, warmed up my calculator, lined up the pencils and waited for Harry Potter to fly off the shelves.
In the brief lull before the buying storm, the group of mothers began to talk politics. I was eager to talk politics, eager to say how I thought Bill Clinton will finally get his, and Janet Reno will probably go home and hang herself rather than face the possibility of being prosecuted for any number of hideous crimes. I was eager to discuss the possibility and fear of electing the first Fairy for President.
I was savoring the dialogue fantasy going on in my head. Desperate but happy to finally be among other frustrated, angry, silent voters who’d had enough and weren’t going to take anymore from this gang of thieves, butchers and tyrants. Sadly, this conversation would never take place. What followed was too eerie to be believed. Surreal. Unreal.
I was prevented from getting off the first salvo when the school librarian started the conversation this way:
“I can’t wait to vote for Gore. My mother can’t afford her prescriptions anymore. She pays $200 a month for her heart medications.” Dear Lord, I’m trapped in an Al Gore commercial!
I would have told her to take her mom over to Al’s vet, the cost would be lower, but this incident took place in early September, before we all found out that Al Gore lies about everything.
Mommies all around started piping in, singing the praises of the Boy Who Would Be Queen. I went numb, finally offering this restrained concern: “I don’t trust him. I think he broke too many laws, so I think he is unworthy of the office of POTUS.”
One mother thought I was too disrespectful because I said ‘POTUS’, and explaining the acronym would not be worth the effort. So I shut up some more and let the gaggle of dimwitted clucks quack forth their praises of Al Gore.
“He’s SO smart! And did you see the way he kissed Tipper?!”
“I heard that LOVE STORY was based on him and Tipper. That’s like, SO romantic!”
“Really? I never knew that. Wow! And at least he fought in Vietnam.”
“Yeah, that’s more than Bush did!”
“More than Clinton ever did,” I observed. Silence. Scowls. They ignore me.
“He and Tommy Lee Jones went to Harvard together.”
“He is A LOT smarter than George Bush.”
“Way smarter. George Bush never even graduated from Harvard!”
“I know! I mean, like, what makes him think he can even be president?”
“Cuz his Daddy was president!” Everyone started laughing. What rapier wit! I was conquered. I sat in thunderstruck silence. I had no comeback!
The conversation flowed and ebbed and wound around different topics without actually stopping to make sense. Life was pleasant and frothy. Life will be even better when the Queen ascends. All hearts in the room are a-twitter. Bliss.
I looked into the eyes of these women for a hint. Something to tell me that they were for real. So much can be learned from looking into the windows of the soul. I am convinced they had their eyes removed, along with their brains, like so many Stepford wives, doting on every word, programmed for the purpose of serving Alpha Male.
I see these kinds of women everywhere. What is with them? These are university-educated women, too. I am, to quote something Carrie Fisher said, quoting someone else: AGHAST IN MY OWN HOUSE!
I saw something both very funny and very telling about what has become of women in the last days of the twentieth century. Having outgrown the need for men, and relegating them to the useless pile, we are willing to elect any moron with a bit of enhance manhood dangling as a substitute for marriage. Listening to Gore and Clinton before him, all you hear is wooing, promising and sighing. It must be LOVE! VOTE FOR HIM!
Not long ago, on Comedy Central’s Man Show, the crass host Jimmy Kimmel and his forgettable sidekick set up a table with petitions urging women to sign and put an end to women’s suffraging. I just about puked in my TV dinner from laughing so hard. And women were coming up to sign the petitions, outraged that their sisters in this day and age are still suffraging (sic) and were more than eager to sign the petitions to end it once and for all. Of course, these girls were university students, going to school on daddy’s dime, so it is understandable that they wouldn’t know what suffrage meant. And that’s why it was so funny to watch them eagerly signing away their right to vote. Clearly, they don’t deserve it! Occasionally, a woman would happen on the scene and try to set straight these Jell-O-brained, permanently duncified followers, but Jimmy Kimmel (How did he get as far in life with that name?) won the day by persuading the lemminguettes to hold up picket signs chanting: “STOP THE SUFFRAGING NOW! STOP THE SUFFRAGING NOW!”
A precious thing it was to have videotaped this spectacle for all eternity. I hope Comedy Central airs this episode again, just before Election Day. It might make all the difference in the world in keeping some of these women from voting, and thus doing any more harm to the country.
Meanwhile, back at the library, someone finally got around to asking me whom I was voting for. Looking around and seeing the glazed look of contented stupidity in their eyes, I took the safe road home and answered: “I don’t know, I haven’t decided, yet.”


  1. " I observed. Silence. Scowls. They ignore me."
    This is how I felt for the first 10 years in OZ.
    Only later I discovered I was mingling with a wrong crowd.

  2. What crowd were you trying to mingle with dear Felis? I quit mingling a long time ago. It is more fun to observe and then rant.

  3. I was a teacher for ca 10 years.

    Now I mingle with my blog pals.
    Yep, .. and I rant too.


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